With much ballyhoo this week, President Obama restored the name of America’s highest peak from Mt. McKinley to the ancient Native Alaskan name, Denali. The White House explained the cultural importance of the ancient name for what many Indigenous peoples consider a sacred place.
We laud President Obama’s recognition of the importance of indigenous place names, especially in regards to sacred tribal lands. In the spirit in which he restored the ancient name to Denali, we urge the President to refrain from using the modern colonialist name West Bank for the sacred tribal heartlands that we have from time immemorial referred to as Judea and Samaria.